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Smart Stats - Why Kieron Pollard's 46* was nearly as impactful as Alzarri Joseph's six-for

Alzarri Joseph should probably have been an easy choice for Man of the Match after returning the best-ever match figures in the IPL, yes?

Well, according to ESPNcricinfo's Smart Stats, his claim to the award wasn't so clear. Kieron Pollard's 46 off 26 balls in a low-scoring game was valued nearly as much as Joseph's incredible figures of 6 for 12.

Smart Stats takes into account the pressure under which batsmen score their runs and their relative strike-rate compared to other batsmen. With Pollard at the crease on 8 off 11, Mumbai were 92 for 6 at the end of the 17th over. What followed was vintage Pollard: he smote 37 runs off 13 balls in the last two overs, helping Mumbai to a competitive total of 136. Pollard's 46 were worth 68 Smart Runs.

Joseph then gave Mumbai Indians the start they would have hoped for. He dismissed David Warner off his first ball and then took out an in-form Vijay Shankar. However, the rest of his six wickets came relatively cheap. The last three of them were of Rashid Khan and the tailenders and came when the match was already well within Mumbai's grasp. Smart Stats give Alzarri's six wickets a Smart-Wicket value of 4.9. Nevertheless, an incredible Smart Economy of 0.27 for the match meant Joseph just pipped Pollard in the race for Smart Stats' Man-of-the-Match award. Joseph's contribution to the match was 19.9%, marginally above Pollard's 19.4%.

Impact of Pollard's dropped catch

Pollard's innings was helped by a dropped catch, which had a great impact on Mumbai's total and then on the result. ESPNcricinfo's Luck Index estimates the impact of the drop and how lucky it turned out to be.

Pollard was dropped in the 17th over when the score was 92 for 6. Mumbai were going at a run rate of 5.30. After the drop, he scored 38 off 16 and took Mumbai to a fighting total of 136. The dropped catch had an impact of 21 runs, since Mumbai had no proper batsmen left at that stage of the innings. Had the catch been taken, they would have been 92 for 7 with just Joseph, Rahul Chahar, Jason Behrendorff and Jasprit Bumrah left. Thus, the drop was a key factor for Mumbai and the game's eventual result.